A BRIDGE TOO FAR  (genre/crimefiction)

By Neel Anil Panicker

Waiting is something Freddie D’ Costa detested like the plague.

Killing time___that was not his forte.

He would rather kill.

And thoughts of murder were racing through his mind as he waited and peeped outside from his 12th floor hotel balcony.

His eyes were fixed on the ocean blue waters that loomed ahead; on the bridge that raised itself to a half salute.

Inhaling deep into his Marlboro, his hawkish eyes studied the waterscape all around it, at the mass of humanity that was crawling their way towards the pier, the flotsam and jetsum that wafted in and out of Harry’s Harbour every single hour of the day.

His eyes caught a hand, a brown weather beaten leather bag that moved in sync with other bodily contours.

He raised his vision slightly, and saw the face that connected the hand.

Instantaneously, an agony dripping howl escaped his throat.

‘Damn’t! I’d warned them not to send stupid Charlie.’

His eyes darted helter skelter as he watched with increasing exasperation the silhouette of the diminutive young man get closer and closer.

At the instant, from the corner of his eyes, he spotted Customs Inspector David Storm loom into view from the northern periphery, taking purposeful strides towards bay area.

‘The gold’s gone,’ he half howled.

Below him, the moon’s beams caught his exasperated visage forming dysfunctional patterns as the waters heaved and sighed much like young lovers on exploratory missions at the dead of the night.

#neelanilpanicker #FFfAW #TTC #FOWC #flash #fiction #storystarter

FOWC with Fandango — Balcony

FOWC with Fandango — Balcony



Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story or poem in around 150 – 175 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE

Also for with Fandango — Silent


By Neel Anil Panicker

“I thought I was very popular. Isn’t that what…”

The Party President interrupted him. “You’re for sure. But it’s a jungle out there and sometimes even the lion has to do more in order to lord over his kingdom.”

As others nodded their heads in silent affirmation, the man continued,” I think you develop wings.”

“A what?”

“A winged lion that roars and flies all across the country solving problems.”

The man in the corner who hadn’t spoken so far chipped in, “It’s from the Bible. It symbolises the birth of God’s Kingdom on Earth. This way we can usher in the new Kingdom of Modi.”

The man at the centre slapped his wrists and roared his approval as his 56 inch chest swelled with pride.

Soon the spartan room reverberated with chants of Har Har Modi Ghar Ghar Modi.

“But Sir, we may have a problem. A winged lion has is a Bliblical reference. St. Marks…”

He was cut short by the portly President himself, “Great! That way we also ensure the Christian votes”.

#neelanilpanicker #fiction #flash #175words #Modi #India #politics #satire #India





By Neel Anil Panicker

‘Dear Desh Bakhts, Modi Bhakts and Cow Bhakts (in no particular order).

Today is a red letter day for India.

As I hang here, suspended in mid air, my head buried deep in mud made purer by the wash of the sacred Ganges, I present before you my latest innovation__a 100 per cent home grown cow milk.

This fully home grown desi packaged cow milk is my gift to all countrymen who until now are being forced to buy low quality contaminated milk that not just drills a huge hole in their ever shrinking pockets but also leaves a bad day long taste.

Buy my milk, and you will have no more of all this. Plus, there’s one added benefit.

My milk is also a spy. Each packet is fitted with a radio fitted device; an antenna pops out of the all-white cow embossed carton, and is tuned to catch all voice signals from across the border.

So, dear cow worshippers, it’s time to show your desh bhakti by drinking hot BABAJI KA DOODH, and be the spy who came in from the cold.’

#neelanilpanicker # fiction #shortstory #flash #FFfAW


TRIVIA: Definition of desi in English:


(also deshi)



  • 1Local; indigenous.

Definition of bhakti in English:



mass nounHinduism 

  • Devotional worship directed to one supreme deity, usually Vishnu (especially in his incarnations as Rama and Krishna) or Shiva, by whose grace salvation may be attained by all regardless of sex, caste, or class. It is followed by the majority of Hindus today.
  • ***

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story or poem in around 150 – 175 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.



By Neel Anil Panicker

As the applause reached a crescendo and the jam packed hall reverberated with lusty cheers and thunderous claps, the microphone in the announcer’s hands sprung to life.

“We heartily congratulate Comet Technologies for its grand success.”

The next few words were drowned in a sea of boisterous squealing and cheering that continued for well over the next fifteen minutes.

For the next half an hour all eyes and hands gravitated towards the centre circular table where seated in a majestic all white swivel chair  a man held fort and accepted with folded hands the blessings and congratulations of one and all.

The man in question, the epicentre of all the buzz that floated through the cool evening air of Taj Intercontinental’s grand ground floor Convention Hall was none other than the highly venerable Alphonso Verughese, the whole sole owner of the latest unicorn that had climbed up to stratospheric heights in the cut throat business world.

Later, much later, after the applauses had died out and the night had embarked on its long lonely march towards day, ensconced all alone in the comfort of his sprawling sea side villa, seventy year old Alphonso ruminated about the fairy tale grand finale that his tumultuous life had reached.

And then the words of his grandfather sprang into life.

 “My child. Remember, success in business is all about violation of one’s principles, about cavorting with the devil. But true happiness and respect comes when you succeed without sacrificing your ethics and morals.  The day you do that you have walked in the shoes of all great men.”


FOWC with Fandango — Violation


Written for multiple writing prompts:

FOWC with Fandango — Stability

This is my 175 word story for the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. We are given a photo prompt that is kindly photographed by our participants and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. It’s fun and everyone is invited to participate. For more information, clickHERE.

To read all the stories submitted for this challenge, click on the blue froggy button below:


By Neel Anil Panicker

Raphael moved the curtains aside and peeped out. Nothing met his eyes; there was no view.

Gone were the everyday signs of stability that met his eyes___the beautifully laid out rose garden; gone too were the tall cinder trees that ran along its edges; also the looming spires of St. Thomas Catholic Church, the place that otherwise would be choc-a-bloc with Sunday morning worshippers.

Instead, all that greeted him was a thick hazy blanket of mist. It was as if someone had taken an eraser and rubbed clean the face of the earth leaving only an eye shadow.

As the day crawled forth Raphael felt an increasing bony chill run down his spine as he watched with horror the distant horizon and wondered whether the sun would make an attempt to pierce through the maze and obliterate this white carpet of nothingness.

It was then that his faith began to ebb as the most reputed doctor in town slowly began to realize that if the weather gods played truant any further he would soon die.



Written for multiple prompts

FOWC with Fandango — Tapestry


By Neel Anil Panicker

The car fumed and spluttered for a while, billowing out hot air, before finally giving up.

 “Damm these Mahindras! A TATA vehicle would never have given us such trouble ever, ” spat out Angad from the driver’s seat.

Seated beside him, Shravan nodded his head vigorously.

Ensconced in the back seat and watching, zombie-like  the goings on for last half an hour in complete silence was Albert.

The trio, all office colleagues, had intended to spend the weekend enjoying a doze of country life, thanks to an  office largesse that had come their way in recognition of the fabulous sales figures the three had delivered for the third straight quarter.

“What are you doing?”, Tarun turned around as Albert opened the car door and began to run down the hill.

“Shhhh…keep quiet. Both of you get out…run for your lives. What I see with my inner eyes is a rich tapestry of evil spirits. Call it a gremlin, a poltergeist, or what have you. They smell of human blood. Something bad is going to happen.”

#neelanilpanicker #flash #fiction #shortstory #daily-prompt #FOWC #FFfAW #ghosts




By Neel Anil Panicker

Look at it__a tweenie weenie porcelain doll, a mere statue that sits all day long astride my glass top table near the window that opens to the sea.

All it does is grin, and rather cheekily at that.

But, is that all? Or, is it that appearances are deceptive?

Does Al and this doll have a connection?


Then why is that ever since Al’s leaving  all I see in that miniature Queen Victoria look alike with a delectable chocolate cake of a hat that all but covers her golden brown crowning glory is a priest strumming a violin?

Why is that such thoughts turn even more macabre as the night turns inwards?

And why the hell do I also see blood?

Yes, you heard that__real human blood streaming out of those big black buttons that pass off for her eyes?

Why? why? And hell! even more whys?

Is it because I know that Al’s not coming back ever is all due to me?

That I have his blood on my hands?

#neelanilpanciker #FFfAW #flash #fiction #flashfiction #storystarter #ThreeThingsChallenge #172words

FFfAW Challenge – 180th


Three Things Challenge, 27 August 2018